Your Path to Thought Leadership Should Start Today
Tips on Where to Begin Your Thought Leadership Journey
When it comes to branding, one of the most important questions we ask our clients revolves around perceptions – both in how they are perceived and how they want to be perceived. One of the best ways to help improve perceptions is to position yourself as an expert in your field – and the best way to accomplish this is through thought leadership.
For some small business owners, the concept of thought leadership can be intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. The following steps should give you a good push in the right direction.
On your journey to thought leadership, look within your company, and make sure you promote a culture of ideas. Your employees can provide you with valuable information from a unique perspective, helping you see the world through different lenses.
Remember, being a thought leader means having the answers to questions your audience is asking. Position yourself as an expert and people will believe you’re an expert. Potential clients and talent will come to you for your individual guidance, and eventually, you can introduce them to your organization, product or service.
Start to Write
This may seem like a no brainer, but for the small business owners intimidated by writing, it can be a difficult step. Just start by writing down what you know. Chances are, you have more information tucked away than you could have ever imagined. Next, translate that information into a company blog, newsletter or ebook. Think about what your customers would benefit from knowing, and what might help them improve their lives. This is the essence of thought leadership – sharing useful information that will benefit those you wish to serve.
A great example of giving away ideas as thought leadership comes from Hubspot. Not only do they host courses on their own, but they partner with other thought leaders in many industries. They are adding value to their brand through ideas and education.
If you know you’re not a strong writer, don’t let that deter you from the task. You can always hire someone to tweak your copy, but it’s important that the content they tweak comes from your perspective. By giving them an outline, they can better convey your voice at all times.
In terms of Thought Leadership, SEO can help your target audience find you more easily instead of digging through pages of results.
- After picking the brain of those within your company and writing down your ideas, you need to identify your niche.
- Once you know what to concentrate on, make a list of keywords that help highlight your position.
- Then add those words strategically throughout the copy on your website, blog, ebooks and social media platforms.
Essentially you are trying to steer people towards you. For example, if you are working on becoming a thought leader in the photography world and your niche is food photography (yes this is a thing, just look at Instagram) your keywords could be, food pics, food porn, food photography, food style, etc. The goal would be to have anyone who searches for those words find your (hopefully very sticky) content.
The road to true thought leadership is a process. It takes time and a bit of inward thinking, but the results are both real and long lasting. Becoming an industry leader is an attainable goal for any brand, no matter how humble the beginnings. Just be sure to remain open, authentic and innovative in your approach.
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